By Prof Michel Chossudovsky
4500 climate strikes in over 100 countries. Several million protesters demand that governments around the World “take action” on the devastating environmental impacts of climate change.
Many of the climate activists point to the destructive impacts of global capitalism on their lives.
“Capitalism = death (or extinction)”.
People’s lives are destroyed. Politicians are coopted by the corporate giants including Big Oil. The economic, environmental and social structures are undermined. The outcome is a process of Worldwide impoverishment.
The oil giants were indelibly under fire. In New York City, climate activists confronted “Big Oil”:
“ExxonKnew: Make Them Pay” outside a meeting of fossil fuel CEOs and government representatives at the Morgan Library and Museum, just blocks away from the U.N. Climate Summit in New York.
Who is Funding the Protest Movement
“Exxon: Make Them Pay”?
The unspoken truth is that Big Oil funds the campaign against Big Oil. Sounds contradictory?
Climate activists have been lied to.
The Climate Movement (New Green Deal) is funded by major charities and corporate foundations including the National Endowment for Democracy, Soros Open Society Foundations, the Rockefeller Brothers Trust, Shell Foundation, BP, Goldman Sachs, among others.
Whereas “Big Oil” is held responsible for the devastating impacts of the fossil fuel industry, the architects of Big Oil, namely the Rockefeller family is the major protagonist of the Green New Deal:
“Beginning in the 1980s, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund became leading advocates of the global warming agenda. … In their Sustainable Development Program Review, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund boasts of being one of the first major global warming activists, citing its strong advocacy for both the 1988 formation of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the 1992 establishment of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change.” (The Energy & Environmental Legal Institute published in 2016).
Debate on the world’s climate is of crucial importance.
But who controls that debate? Major capitalist foundations ultimately call the shots?
There is an obvious contradictory relationship. The protest movement is funded by corporate foundations.
According to William Engdahl, the New Green Deal is an “economic project”:
Prince Charles, … along with the Bank of England and City of London finance have promoted “green financial instruments,” led by Green Bonds, to redirect pension plans and mutual funds towards green projects. A key player in the linking of world financial institutions with the Green Agenda is outgoing Bank of England head Mark Carney. In December 2015, the Bank for International Settlements’ Financial Stability Board (FSB), chaired then by Carney, created the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosure (TCFD), to advise “investors, lenders and insurance about climate related risks.” That was certainly a bizarre focus for world central bankers.
And the Protest movement including the Extinction Rebellion provide a justification for investing in Green Bonds:
The omnipresent Wall Street bank, Goldman Sachs, … has just unveiled the first global index of top-ranking environmental stocks, done along with the London-based CDP, formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project. The CDP, notably, is financed by investors such as HSBC, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs, American International Group, and State Street Corp.
The new index, called CDP Environment EW and CDP Eurozone EW, aims to lure investment funds, state pension systems such as the CalPERS (the California Public Employees’ Retirement System) and CalSTRS (the California State Teachers’ Retirement System) with a combined $600+ billion in assets, to invest in their carefully chosen targets.
A cursory review suggests that the key climate organizations are invariably funded by corporate capital (including the Oil giants):
- Climate Action has links with a number of financial partners with a view to promoting “Green investments” in what is described as the “global sustainability industry.”
- The Climate Institute at climate.org, is a major research entity funded by Ford Motor Company Fund, GE Foundation, Goldman Sachs, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Shell Foundation, The Rockefeller Foundation, among others.
- The Climate Leadership Council is an initiative of major corporations which funds the global climate consensus.
Global Warming. The Concepts
While climate activists express their concern regarding the nefarious impacts of global capitalism on climate, including those pertaining to militarization (and defense spending), the scientific analysis of climate under the auspices of the IPCC largely focusses on a single variable: Carbon Dioxide (CO2), i.e. the impact of increased emissions of CO2 derived from fossil fuels (including fracking) on average global temperature.
Depletion of the ozone layer is what triggers global warming. The ozone layer is in the Earth’s stratosphere. “Ozone is constantly being produced and destroyed naturally. This ozone layer filters out ultra-violet (UV) rays from the Sun and protects life on Earth.”
Greenhouse gas emissions affecting the ozone layer largely consist of water vapor (50%), carbon dioxide (CO2) (20%) and clouds (25%). The remaining greenhouse gases (5%) is made up of small aerosol particles, methane (CH4) and nitrous oxides (N2O) (both a greenhouse gas as well as an “ozone destroyer” with devastating impacts on climate). (approximate figures provided by NASA for 2011).
Decrease of the ozone layer “will increase the amount of Ultra Violet radiation reaching the Earth’s surface, and worsen the impacts due to UV exposure.”
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the key UN body “for assessing the science related to climate change”.
The focus of the IPCC is to estimate the additional CO2 greenhouse gas generated by fossil fuel extraction. It is assumed that the increase in greenhouse gas emissions from Planet Earth results solely from CO2 emissions tied to fossil fuel extraction (including fracking).
Note: The CO2 emissions resulting from fossil fuel extraction constitute a very small percentage of total CO2 emissions (estimated at 20% of total greenhouse gas emissions), i.e a very small percentage of the 20%.
The current IPCC climate debate focus consists of the following:
- -Rising CO2 emissions (from fossile fuels) constitute the sole cause of global warming, attributable to the depletion of the ozone layer.
- -To reduce the depletion of the ozone layer requires a reduction in fossil fuel extraction, which constitutes the major cause of rising CO2 emissions.
“an understanding of the impacts of 1.5°C global warming above pre-industrial levels and related global emission pathways in the context of strengthening the response to the threat of climate change, sustainable development and efforts to eradicate poverty.”
Most of the results in this IPCC study are based on model simulations of likely impacts comparing a 2.0 C increase in average global temperature to the 1.5°C global warming above pre-industrial levels.
The report highlights major environmental and social impacts which are based on simulations of rising temperature attributable to increased CO2 emissions attributable to fossil fuel extraction.
These include impacts on biodiversity and ecosystems, species loss and extinctions (plants, insects and vertebrates), impacts on oceans and waterways, as well as social impacts including poverty.
The report distinguishes between terrestrial, freshwater and coastal ecosystems. It examines the impacts of global warming on ocean temperatures. It also addresses “associated increases in ocean acidity and decreases in ocean oxygen levels”and the impacts on marine life and biodiversity. The social impacts on (e.g. on fishing communities) are also acknowledged.
On land, impacts on biodiversity and ecosystems, including species loss and extinction, are projected to be lower at 1.5°C of global warming compared to 2°C. Similarly, “limiting global warming to 1.5°C is projected to reduce risks to marine biodiversity, fisheries, and ecosystems, and their functions and services to humans”
Critique: Single Variable Analysis
There are many other complex factors which directly or indirectly affect climate and environmental structures including the ozone layer, which have been excluded from the IPCC model simulations.
The quantitative results of the IPCC are deterministic to say the least. According to MIT Professor Richard S Lindzen:
“Now here is the currently popular narrative concerning this system. The climate, a complex multifactor system, can be summarized in just one variable, the globally averaged temperature change, and is primarily controlled by the 1-2% perturbation in the energy budget due to a single variable – carbon dioxide – among many variables of comparable importance.
This is an extraordinary pair of claims based on reasoning that borders on magical thinking. It is, however, the narrative that has been widely accepted, even among many sceptics.”
They omit variables which affect climate. With the exception of fossil fuel, they do not address the impacts of government policy on climate, nor do they address how US led wars as well as the multi-trillion dollar war economy threatens Planet Earth.
It is the art of omission:
- A single highly relevant variable carbon-dioxide (CO2) “Explains Everything”. (ceteris paribus).
- With all other variables excluded, through omission, CO2 “Explains nothing”.
- CO2 emissions cannot reasonably explain the complexities of climate change.
- By centering solely on CO2, the Climate debate has excluded “everything else”.
The climatic and environmental crisis in different regions of the World are identified. The underlying causality is the single variable approach: helloCO2 emissions from fossil fuel extraction.
And the IPCC’s stylized results are then used to justify the Green New Deal multibillion corporate bonanza.
A whole series of important processes including biodiversity, animal life, poverty, species loss, etc have been explained by the IPCC solely referring to the impact of the the increase in CO2 emissions on global warming, nothing else.
Measurement: Biased and Flawed Global Temperature Readings
There are serious problems in estimating CO2 emissions (from fossil fuel) as well average global temperature.
Global warming cannot be identified and explained by a single global temperature. There are numerous regional temperatures which describe climatic conditions. A global (weighted) average temperatures established from major geographical readings does not provide an understanding of the complexities of climate.
Moreover, there is evidence that the Global Average Temperature is manipulated. This temperature has a direct bearing on gains and losses in multibillion dollar Carbon Trade transactions:
When future generations look back on the global-warming scare of the past 30 years, nothing will shock them more than the extent to which the official temperature records – on which the entire panic ultimately rested – were systematically “adjusted” to show the Earth as having warmed much more than the actual data justified. (Telegraph, 7 February, 2015)
This belief has rested on … official data records. … the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), … the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit, the Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction, UK Met Office. [as well] as … measurements made by satellites, compiled by Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) (The Telegraph, 24 January 2015)
The Impact of Radioactivity on Climate
Are increased CO2 emissions from fossil fuel the only cause of climate change and environmental degradation?
In this article, we focus briefly on the impacts on the Ozone Layer resulting from the explosion of nuclear bombs, an issue which has not been addressed by the New Green Deal, as well as radiation from nuclear power plants.
Radiation from Nuclear Power Plants (Fukushima)
The dumping of highly radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean constitutes a potential trigger to a process of global radioactive contamination.
In this regard, since 2011, amply documented, marine life as well as species loss has been affected by the release of radioactive plutonium into the Pacific Ocean following the Fukushima-Daichi disaster.
Radioactive elements have not only been detected in the food chain in Japan, radioactive rain water has been recorded in California.
Nuclear Testing and Radioactive Fallout
The testing of nuclear weapons has been ongoing throughout the post WWII era. Among the more than 2000 tests, a large number of these tests are “not underground” or “underwater”, i.e the testing in the atmosphere. According to a 2000 Report of the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation to the General Assembly
“The main man-made contribution to the exposure of the world’s population [to radiation] has come from the testing of nuclear weapons in the atmosphere, from 1945 to 1980. Each nuclear test resulted in unrestrained release into the environment of substantial quantities of radioactive materials, which were widely dispersed in the atmosphere and deposited everywhere on the Earth’s surface.”
What would be the impact of the explosion of nuclear weapons on the World’s climate?
The issue of nuclear winter was first addressed in a 1983 study by R.P. Turco, O.B. Toon, T.P. Ackerman, J.B. Pollack, and Carl Sagan (referred to as TTAPS) “Global Atmospheric Consequences of Nuclear War”
The publication of the TTAPS study at the height of the Cold War unleashed a concern on the devastating impacts of nuclear war including its climatic impacts.
The extreme cold, high radiation levels, and the widespread destruction of industrial, medical, and transportation infrastructures along with food supplies and crops would trigger a massive death toll from starvation, exposure, and disease.
The TTAPS study concluded: “…the possibility of the extinction of Homo Sapiens cannot be excluded.”
It also created an awareness among US foreign policy-makers, which today is totally absent. Trump does not have the foggiest idea regarding the impacts of a nuclear war.
According to Atomic Archive.com which essentially summarizes the concepts of the TTAP study (p. 22) “When a nuclear weapon explodes in the air, the surrounding air is subjected to great heat, followed by relatively rapid cooling.”
These conditions are ideal for the production of tremendous amounts of nitric oxides. These oxides are carried into the upper atmosphere, where they reduce the concentration of protective ozone. Ozone is necessary to block harmful ultraviolet radiation from reaching the Earth’s surface.
The nitric oxides produced by the weapons could reduce the ozone levels in the Northern Hemisphere by as much as 30 to 70 percent. Such a depletion might produce changes in the Earth’s climate, and would allow more ultraviolet radiation from the sun through the atmosphere to the surface of the Earth, where it could produce dangerous burns and a variety of potentially dangerous ecological effects.
It has been estimated that as much as 5,000 tons of nitric oxide is produced for each megaton of nuclear explosive power. See Atomic Archive
The 2008 Simulation of Nuclear Conflict. Impacts on Ozone Layer
In a major 2008 study by Michael Mills et al entitled Massive global ozone loss predicted following regional nuclear conflict (Academy of Sciences of the United States) a simulation was conducted (largely based on the concepts outlined in the TTPS 1983 study) of a nuclear conflict involving 100 Hiroshima sized bombs. The simulation confirmed that the nuclear explosions “could produce long-term damage to the ozone layer, enabling higher than “extreme” levels of ultraviolet radiation to reach the Earth’s surface, (see GSN, March 16, 2010).
Increased levels of UV radiation from the sun could persist for years, possibly with a drastic impact on humans and the environment, even thousands of miles from the area of the nuclear conflict. …
“A regional nuclear exchange of 100 15-kiloton weapons … would produce unprecedented low-ozone columns over populated areas in conjunction with the coldest surface temperatures experienced in the last 1,000 years, and would likely result in a global nuclear famine,” …
The research by Mills and colleagues was the first to address the possibility that a nuclear explosion could lead to increased ultraviolet radiation levels on Earth, according to a NCAR press release issued during the American Association for the Advancement of Science conference. NTI
According to Prof. Allan Robock:
In the 1980s, using simple climate models, we discovered that global nuclear arsenals, if used on cities and industrial areas, could produce a nuclear winter and lead to global famine.
Smoke from the fires would last for years in the upper atmosphere, blocking sunlight, and making it cold, dark and dry at the Earth’s surface. It would also destroy ozone, enhancing ultraviolet radiation reaching the surface.
While the immediate effects of nuclear strikes might kill hundreds of thousands, the numbers that would die from starvation in the years that followed could run into billions.
In the real sense of the word, nuclear war could potentially lead to a process of Human Extinction:
A very large nuclear war would be a calamity of indescribable proportions and absolutely unpredictable consequences, with the uncertainties tending toward the worse. . . . All-out nuclear war would mean the destruction of contemporary civilization, throw man back centuries, cause the deaths of hundreds of millions or billions of people, and, with a certain degree of probability, would cause man to be destroyed as a biological species . . . Andrei Sakharov, Foreign Affairs, Summer 1983
Those concerns have largely been excluded from the Climate Debate and the Extinction Rebellion.
The Extinction Rebellion Protest Movement has its eyes riveted on the rising emissions of Carbon Dioxide (from fossil fuel), heralded as “the most dangerous and prevalent greenhouse gas”.
All other variables are excluded. Scientific lies by omission.
Impacts of Chemicals on the Ozone layer
In recent history, Ozone layer depletion was caused by chlorofluorocarbons or CFCs. The CFCs are a greenhouse gas which was previously used in air conditioning and cooling units including refrigerators.
The use of CFCs was banned under the Montreal Protocol. A June 2016 study however confirms that the Montreal Protocol failed to fully resolve the CFC ban:
“when countries began phasing out CFCs, manufacturers replaced them with hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). HFCs don’t deplete ozone, but they are potent greenhouse gases, which contribute to global warming. The challenge going forward, then, will be to develop new alternatives to HFCs — and to have the world adopt them, once again.”
Moreover, the Montreal Protocol did not eliminate methyl bromide (MeBr) which is an ozone-depleting substance .
Methyl bromide (MeBr) is used increasingly as a biocidal fumigant, primarily in agricultural soils prior to planting of crops. This usage carries potential for stratospheric ozone reduction due to Br atom catalysis, depending on how much MeBr escapes from fumigated soils to the atmosphere.
The IPCC simulations neglect the fact that HFC as well as MeBr constitute a threat to the ozone layer.
A recent UN report nonetheless confirms that despite the IPCC alarm bell, “Earth’s protective ozone layer is finally healing from damage caused by aerosol sprays and coolants, a new United Nations report said.”
The ozone layer had been thinning since the late 1970s. Scientist raised the alarm and ozone-depleting chemicals were phased out worldwide.As a result, the upper ozone layer above the Northern Hemisphere should be completely repaired in the 2030s and the gaping Antarctic ozone hole should disappear in the 2060s, according to a scientific assessment released Monday at a conference in Quito, Ecuador. The Southern Hemisphere lags a bit and its ozone layer should be healed by mid-century. (AP November 2018).
Environmental Modification Techniques (ENMOD)
The militarization of climate is rarely mentioned in the Climate Debate. “In 1977, an international Convention was ratified by the UN General Assembly which banned ‘military or other hostile use of environmental modification techniques having widespread, long-lasting or severe effects.’”
It defined ‘environmental modification techniques’ as ‘any technique for changing –through the deliberate manipulation of natural processes – the dynamics, composition or structure of the earth, including its biota, lithosphere, hydrosphere and atmosphere, or of outer space.’
While the substance of the 1977 Convention was reasserted in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) signed at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio, debate on weather modification for military use has become a scientific taboo.
Military analysts are mute on the subject. Meteorologists are not investigating the matter and environmentalists are focused on greenhouse gas emissions under the Kyoto Protocol. Neither is the possibility of climatic or environmental manipulations as part of a military and intelligence agenda, while tacitly acknowledged, part of the broader debate on climate change under UN auspices. (Michel Chossudovsky, The Ecologist, 2007)
The US possesses a vast arsenal of electromagnetic weapons which are capable of disrupting climate through environmental modification techniques (ENMOD). (See the author’s earlier writings)
The impacts of ENMOD techniques for military use were documented by CBC TV in the early 1990s. The report acknowledged that the HAARP facility in Alaska (now closed down or transferred to another location) under the auspices of the US Air Force had the ability of triggering typhoons, earthquakes, floods and droughts:
“Directed energy is such a powerful technology it could be used to heat the ionosphere to turn weather into a weapon of war. Imagine using a flood to destroy a city or tornadoes to decimate an approaching army in the desert. The military has spent a huge amount of time on weather modification as a concept for battle environments. If an electromagnetic pulse went off over a city, basically all the electronic things in your home would wink and go out, and they would be permanently destroyed.”
“Owning the Weather” for Military Use
According to US Air Force document AF 2025 Final Report, the US Military Would eventually “Own the Weather”.
Advanced techniques of climatic warfare including environmental modification techniques:
“offer(s) the war fighter a wide range of possible options to defeat or coerce an adversary”, capabilities, it says, extend to the triggering of floods, hurricanes, droughts and earthquakes:
‘Weather modification will become a part of domestic and international security and could be done unilaterally… It could have offensive and defensive applications and even be used for deterrence purposes. The ability to generate precipitation, fog and storms on earth or to modify space weather… and the production of artificial weather all are a part of an integrated set of [military] technologies.” (emphasis added) US Air Force document AF 2025 Final Report
Climate instability is an important concern. But it cannot be analyzed in isolation. It is an extremely complex process.
While there is a significant grassroots movement of young activists, the CO2 Climate Consensus has distracted millions of people from an understanding of the broader and ongoing threats to human life on Planet Earth.
These climate strikes are taking place at a time of crisis, largely marked by US threats to wage war on Iran. The use of tactical nuclear weapons against Iran is contemplated.
Activists are often misled by those who fund the campaign including Rockefeller et al, as well as by the organizers and the public relations operatives involving Hollywood celebrities, et al.
The underlying science methodology is in many regard flawed.
In a bitter irony, the movement against capitalism is funded by capitalism. It’s called “manufactured dissent”.
Global warfare using advanced weapons systems coupled with deliberate acts of destruction, sabotage and destabilization of sovereign countries constitutes the most serious threat to the survival of humanity.
The globalization of war is coupled with the derogation of civil rights, the surveillance State, neoliberal IMF-World Bank macroeconomic reforms applied Worldwide which trigger mass poverty, unemployment and environmental destruction. This global policy framework (controlled by powerful financial interests) repeals workers’ rights, destroys family farming, undermines the Welfare state leading to the privatization health and education, etc.
What is required is a broad protest movement which encompasses these interrelated dimensions. The underlying causes of this Worldwide Crisis must be understood. It is not caused by a single variable (aka CO2 emissions).
The Extinction Debate and Nuclear War
Nine countries including US, Russia, France, China, UK, Israel, Pakistan, India, North Korea together possess nearly 14,000 nuclear weapons. (2017 data) The US and Russia have 6185 and 6500 respectively.
According to ICAN, “The United States and Russia maintain roughly 1,800 of their nuclear weapons on high-alert status – ready to be launched within minutes of a warning.”
Today’s nuclear bombs (with the exception of the so-called mini-nukes) are significantly more powerful in terms of explosive capacity than a Hiroshima bomb.
The B61.11 “mini-nuke” (categorized as a “low yield” “more usable” nuclear bomb) has an explosive capacity between one third and twelve times a Hiroshima bomb.
People should understand. There are enough nuclear bombs to destroy life on planet Earth several times over. Surely this should be part of the Extinction Debate.
While one can conceptualize the loss of life and destruction resulting from previous wars including Iraq and Afghanistan, it is impossible to fully comprehend the devastation which might result from a Third World War, using “new technologies” and advanced weapons, until it occurs and becomes a reality. The international community has endorsed nuclear war in the name of world peace. “Making the world safer” is the justification for launching a military operation which could potentially result in a nuclear holocaust. (Michel Chossudovsky, 2011)
War rather than CO2 emissions is the greatest threat to humanity. Oops, according to the media, nuclear weapons are a means to achieving World peace.
Trump has a 1.2 trillion dollar nuclear weapons program, initially set up by Obama.
While this multibillion dollar project is intended “to make the world safer”, these (expensive) nuclear weapons are categorized as “more usable” “humanitarian bombs”, “safe for the surrounding population”, according to scientific opinion on contract to the Pentagon.
US-NATO and their allies are involved in illegal acts of war. Nuclear war is on the drawing-board of the Pentagon.
But these wars are no longer illegal: they are part of the “responsibility to protect” (R2P). These are “humanitarian wars” or “counter-terrorism” ops despite the fact that millions of people have been killed and entire nations have been destroyed. It’s called “collateral damage”.
Needless to say, there are powerful financial interests behind the globalization of war.
War is good for business. And luckily for the Military Industrial Complex, the antiwar movement is dead.
The Ritual of Rebellion Prevails.
University of Manchester sociologist Max Gluckman (1911-1975) in his writings showed how ritualized forms of rebellion by those who protest against those in power “through a controlled expression of hostility to authority” ultimately leads to the reinforcement of the established structures of authority.
Is that not what is happening today?
The movement against capitalism is funded and supported by capitalism.
The antiwar movement is dead. There are no protests directed against global warfare and the use of nuclear weapons on a first strike basis.
What’s More Dangerous, CO2 or Nuclear War?